Hope you are having a great week!
We had some really fun times this week with Stephanie and Tyler coming up to visit. Tyler brought James and another friend, Justin, so we had a good work crew to go at the tree house!
We are really excited that the house basement is getting started! Attaching some pics. We are a little late in the season so we are really hoping things go smoothly from one contractor to the next.
Last night I took the little girls into a Stake Choir practice. We are having a all childrens choir for Stake Conference this next month. At first they were reluctant and I had to resort to some bribery (Chili's Molten Lava cake for Abby and Tootie Fruitie for Mia). They had a good time though and the conductor was fantastic. I was able to browse some instagram while listening to them and this is what I posted on facebook after:
Sitting at the Millwoods Stake Center listening to my daughters sing in a child's choir. The conductor, Lindsey Olsen, had the parents close their eyes and try to tell the difference between singing the same section of music once with no expression on their faces and once with lots of joyful and expressive faces. The difference was obvious and much more beautiful with expression.
It made me wonder about whether our lives are similar.
I then saw this quote on Instagram that really struck me:
"All of us are prone to excuse our own mediocre performance. We blame our misfortunes, our disfigurements, or our so-called handicaps. Victims of our own rationalization, we say silently to ourselves: “I’m just too weak,” or “I’m not cut out for better things.” Others soar beyond our meager accomplishments. Envy and discouragement then take their toll.
Can we not appreciate that our very business in life is not to get ahead of others, but to get ahead of ourselves? To break our own records, to outstrip our yesterdays by our todays, to bear our trials more beautifully than we ever dreamed we could, to give as we have never given, to do our work with more force and a finer finish than ever—this is the true idea: to get ahead of ourselves.
To live greatly, we must develop the capacity to face trouble with courage, disappointment with cheerfulness, and triumph with humility. You ask, “How might we achieve these goals?” I answer, “By getting a true perspective of who we really are!” We are sons and daughters of a living God, in whose image we have been created. Think of that truth: “Created in the image of God.” We cannot sincerely hold this conviction without experiencing a profound new sense of strength and power, even the strength to live the commandments of God, the power to resist the temptations of Satan."
I've been reading that quote to Sam and Ben ever since especially as we start a new learning year. The big news is that Ben is going to High School and while nervous seems pretty excited for the new adventure. Sam is working for the rest of the landscaping season with Saturdays off for preparing for the GED.Mom is excited to work with the girls lots this year.
Can you believe Abby will be 12 in January and going into Young Woman's!? She is SOOOOOO ready to be done with Primary sharing time she says. Mia and Ben are getting excited for their Birthday in 3 weeks.
I'm sure there's lots more to say, but I have to wrap up as I forgot to write again on Sunday and so I'm knocking this out on my lunch hour.
As always, we are so proud of you and love the growth we are seeing in you (even the extra food growth, but mostly the spiritual growth! :)).
Wow looks like there is a lot going on back home, I love the Pictures, I really love seeing whats going on in your lives, its a little bit of home I get to enjoy while out here doing the Lords work, there have been a lot of things going on and a lot of things going to happen pretty soon!
First might I say that a mission is super hard and a lot of time it just sucks, well some of the time. The other day we were tracting a street previously chosen and every single door on that street in two hours of knocking was opened someone yelled at us or told us they weren't interested in what we were selling, then proceeded to slam the door before we had a chance to even say have a good day, and as we walked by a group of kids they talked loudly to eachother about us "who are those people?... oh they are just solicitors.."
I am always sad when people see us only as people seeling something, we are preaching the word of God, one of the houses we knocked into yelled at us and demanded to know if we could even read the soliciting sign, calling us stupid and a couple other choice words that I won't repeat in this email, and we simply told him he are not soliciting, and he yelled that we were soliciting God, and to get off his property, and a couple weeks ago this lady told us to get off her porch and that she didn't want to sick her dog on us, and when we left, she opened the door and the dog ran after us halfway down the block before she called it back. I tell these stories not to discourage anyone from a mission, but to tell you that it is hard, there will be days where things suck, and everything doesn't seem to be right, but those are the days where you learn who you are, and what you do in those situations, do you yell back at someone who is yelling at you? do you hate the people who hate you? do you bible bash whenever someone pulls out a scripture to prove their point? because ate the end of the day that is what it comes down to, what will you do when faced with adversity? I would hope, and I guess that is what Jesus Christ wanted of us, that we love one another, love those who despitefully use you, forgive those who do wrongs against you, have charity towards your fellow man, because we can't change others but we sure can change ourselves, and every moment we are trying we change for the better. a quote I heard, I can't remember who it is from, "God works in the moments that make up eternity"
and it is said in the scriptures "by small and simple things, great things are brought to pass" and "line upon line, precept upon precept" So remember that when you are working on bettering yourself that every moment you try and work and give and sacrifice, you are changing for the better.
I have been told a couple times that we have false prophets, that they are deceaving us, and it really bothered me and I decided to pursue the subject, in fact I studied it this morning, in the bible (at least where I was reading) it states a false prophet as leading away the hearts of the children of men from God, speaking things contrary to the will of God in his name. So to investigate further, I got out some of the "teachings of the Prophets" books that we had in our apartment, everything that prophets speak are true to what God says, one of them said "we make bold professions, so we must be willing to live to a higher state of being to live up to the professions we make" I think that was Heber J Grant. I think that what people get stuck on and choose to focus on are the imperfections we all have, the statements of opinion given by prophets and apostles that aren't directly in line with the will of God, people choose to blow them out of preportion forgetting what great good they have done in the work of the Lord, it saddens me that people do not consider the fruits of the Gospel, as for me though I know this church is true, because of that it makes us, because of the possative influence that it has on the hearts of men, turning them to God, as Latter-Day saints we are called to live in a higher way, a higher way of thinking, a higher way of language, a higher way of service and action. I know that I could not be the man I am today without this church, and without my parents being faithful to what they knew to be true, and I thank you so much for that mom and dad! I am blessed to be in the work of the Lord, he has blessed me so much, the least I and we can do is give him what we can, and to think he only asks 10% back, of our income, our lives, our time.
We knocked into this black guy who was clearly on something, but he said these words that I will never forget, "when the Lord asks ten percent of our income it does not mean just our money, it means 10% of our time, tallents, children, of our lives, of our blessings and our income, he doesn't need our money, he needs us to come to him" and I think in the most part that is true, but we must be willing to give 100% of our everything if called upon, and to me I think that is the hardest. In his infinite mercy he knew we wouldn't be able to measure up all the time, and so he asks for ten percent, we can at least give him that.
One other thing I was told (again by a crazy guy) was not to be ashamed of who we are and to boldly proclaim it in our words and actions, He asked if we (me and my companion) were virgins, and I told him I indeed was, but my companion was perplexed, "why would you ask such a thing?" and the man turned to him and said "if you are a virgin then don't be ashamed to say so, its okay if your not but whatever you are you should boldly claim it!" and walked away, so whenever someone askes you a question about what you believe don't be afraid to claim it "are you mormon?", "I am indeed, dyed in the wool, true blue through and through" remember, "sometimes the only standard works someone with ever read is YOU" ~ Heber J Grant. So live ut to the covenants you have made at baptism to stand as a witness of Jesus Christ at all times and in all places, especialy in Highscholl Ben, and in working at Classic Landscapes Sam, with your friends Abby and Mia, no matter if they are Mormon or not, there will come a time and a day when you are backed up to the wall of your beliefs and you are either true blue through and through...or your not. Deside today, because "Your testimony today will not be strong enough for the trials of tomorrow."
I love you all and hope all is well.
Us on Bikes! We got rid of 15 cars in the mission these past two transfers opening up 15 more biking areas, so right now I am sitting on a borrowed bike from one of the members in our area.
I will have to get my own one of these days, but only when I have to.
Elder Postelnicu after a day of biking, I love the guy.